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NeoStrata Hydra-Infusion 24 hr Hydrating Serum

This product has already been mentioned a couple of times on this blog in its short existence (my best 2014 discoveries and empties January posts) – I figured I should provide a more thorough review to explain why I enjoy this product so much.

NeoStrata Hydra-Infusion 24 hr Hydrating Serum $38 CAD for 30ml (available at shoppers drug Mart and Rexall)
This serum is a lightweight milky gel that I use in the mornings underneath my moisturizer – I use 2-3 pumps to cover my face; 1 dot per cheek and the rest spread over my t-zone where I require less hydration.

On Neostrata’s product page, it lists the formulations in fancy trademarked names:
AMC™ (5%) – a biotechnological ingredient that is up to 4 times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid. It provides immediate and all day intense moisture.
EXO-H™ (3%) – an ex-polysaccharide rich in essential minerals that helps maintain an optional barrier function and improves short term and long term hydration.
LITCHIDERM™ (2%) – a lychee extract that protects skin against environmental aggressions with its with strong antioxidant properties.

The actual ingredient list:

Aqua, Glycerin, Glyceryl polyacrylate, Sodium PCA, Urea, Trehalose, Triacetin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyquaternium-51, 1,3-Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimenthicone, Vinyltrimethylsiloxysilicate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Litchi Chinensis Pericarp Extract, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Butylene Glycol, Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, 1-2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Coco-Glucoside, Glycol Distearate, Glycerin, Fragrance.

(Phew, I typed that up from the ingredient list on the box – I could NOT find a proper ingredient list anywhere online – you’re welcome!) It should be noted that Glycerin and Butylene Glycol are listed twice on the packaging – I copied it verbatim.

The substantive hydrating ingredients without their trademarked names are:
Glycerin, Urea, Sodium PCA, Trehalose (a polysaccharide), Sodium Hyaluronate (aka synthetic form of hyaluronic acid), Polyquaternium-51 [the combination of these six ingredients creates AMC™ which stands for advanced moisture Complex], Butylene Glycol + Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate [this combination makes the EXO-H™], and Litchi Chinensis Pericarp Extract [LITCHIDERM™ sounds more luxe though]
(click on each of the ingredients to read technical details about how they work)

As these ingredients all seem to indicate, this product isn’t so much to moisturize as it is to hydrate the skin – the best way I can explain this concept is that the serum helps to retain water and plumps up the skin whereas a moisturizer seals in the hydration and protect the skin against the elements (dry air, wind, indoor heating, etc).  The one-two combo punch of this serum and a moisturizer have made my skin much more supple and perfectly prepped for base makeup.

I should backtrack to explain how I came across the NeoStrata serum to begin with.  Before this serum, I had never tried anything from NeoStrata – I had just finished a bottle of Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum (which I think is now discontinued in Canada) and wanted to try something new, more hydrating.  Prior to the NeoStrata and Vichy serums, I had used these serums for daytime hydration: indeed Hydraluron moisture Booster (I know this comes highly recommended online but I disliked this so much I could not finish the tube – it dried sticky and interfered with my base makeup), Shiseido White Lucent Intensive spot Target Serum, Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum, Anna Sui Intensive Moisturizing Serum (both this and the Claudalie are quite good in their own rights), etc etc – so you can see that I’m no stranger to hydrating serums.  I spoke to the shoppers drug Mart beauty associate asking for a serum that contained hyaluronic acid and she highly recommended this one.  I’m happy I went with her recommendation – this was a year ago and I haven’t looked back.

s  hydrating
s  fragrance free
s  alcohol free
s  absorbs quickly
s  no sticky residue
s  does not interfere with base makeup
s  does not break me out
s  practical pump packaging with a locking mechanism and cap for hygiene

s  high price point*

Stash würdig: 10/10

* The price point is relative – at $38 this is one of the less expensive serums of the ones I’ve tried before, which ranged from $25 up to $140.  However, I’m currently investigating some Asian hydrating serums which seem more commonplace there (often called “essences”), with lower price tags (typically less than $20).

Sample packettes of various Asian essences (Face Shop, Missha, Holika Holika)
It would be fantastic to find a lower priced alternative that performs on par with the NeoStrata.  In the meantime, the NeoStrata is my HG hydrating serum for daytime.  Do you use a serum?

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